A student of Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru, Disha is among the notable climate activists in India.
The police claim she is an editor of the Google document, which was a guide sheet to stoke “economic, cultural, social and regional tensions” in India.
, at the centre of the controversy, was tweeted by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg while voicing support for the farmers protesting in India.
According to the police, Greta shared the toolkit with Disha. “Later, she (Disha) asked Greta to remove the main Doc after its incriminating details accidentally got into the public domain,” the Delhi Police tweeted.
Who is Disha Ravi?
A student of the Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru, Disha is among the notable climate activists in India. She had, in 2019, started Fridays for Future (FFF) India - an initiative linked to Greta’s Fridays for Future movement.
“Climate strikes or marches are peaceful, non-violent ways to let our national and state governments know about our demand to address the ongoing climate crisis and ecological breakdown,” the website
of the Disha-headed FFF states.
Disha, akin to Greta, has been instrumental in organising coordinated strikes against the alleged lack of governmental action to combat climate change.
She was inspired to launch the movement against climate change by her grandparents, who, as farmers, were among the worst-affected by the changing weather pattern, Disha said in an interview
to Auto Report Africa.
In September last year, Disha was featured by The Guardian
for her frequent protests in Bengaluru against the alleged lack of regulations to curb environmental degradation. “We are not just fighting for our future, we are fighting for our present,” she had told the newspaper.
This is not the first time Disha is coming under the radar. In July 2020, the FFF India website was blocked
, and a notice was sent by the Delhi Police to the domain hosts for the depiction of "contents and unlawful activities or terrorist act, which are dangerous for peace, tranquility and sovereignty".
The Delhi Police had invoked the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, but later withdrew the notice.
The police had also sent another notice to FFF India, under the Information Technology Act, for allegedly attempting to spam
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar's inbox over the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification. This notice was also, however, withdrawn.
Disha’s involvement in the toolkit row
Greta had shared a toolkit, which was deleted and replaced by another, that allegedly called for disruptive protests against the Indian government over the farm reform laws.
The stated aim of the toolkit was “to enable anyone unfamiliar with the ongoing farmers protests in India to better understand the situation and make decisions on how to support the farmers".
However, the government referred to certain “incriminating” content in the now-deleted toolkit to file a case of sedition against unknown persons on February 4. Disha is the first person to be arrested in the case.
On being produced before the court, the student-activist broke down and told the judge that she edited “only two lines” of the document, news agency ANI reported.
The Delhi Police, citing its findings so far, refuted the claim. “She is an editor of the Toolkit Google Doc and a key conspirator in the document's formulation and dissemination. She started a WhatsApp Group and collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the Doc," the police said in a statement.